Eliot Crist’s 25 favorite DFS Plays of Week 13
Cam Newton is your chalk, cash game quarterback worth paying up for this week, taking on the bottom of the barrel Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. The Bucs allow more passing touchdowns that any other team in the league and simply do not force interceptions. In their first meeting Cam Newton only finished with 21.18 points, but the Panthers scored 42 total points and Cam didn’t play a big roll in the touchdowns. Look for that to change this time around as Newton is too big of a part of the offense to be held down. He has scored less than 18 DK points only once this year and has the highest weekly floor due to his rushing upside. No QB has more rushing attempts or rushing yards per game this season and when you combine that with the secondary he faces, all systems are going to Newton this week.
Mr. Passing Touchdown Andrew Luck is too cheap and will come in under-owned this week. Luck has thrown for three or more passing touchdowns in every game since Week 4, three times throwing for four touchdowns. His efficiency has been off the charts as even with his volume falling compared to the beginning of the season, he continues to put up monster numbers. Luck has the efficiency, consistency, and takes on a team that has likely quit in a must-win spot. Look for Luck to add another week to the three touchdown streak.
If there is an offense on the other side of the ball that will put up points on the Bucs (everyone but Nick Mullens), whoever is the Bucs starter is in play. No game that Winston has started and completed has resulted in less than 38 pass attempts, and he is taking big shots down the field. He is a fantasy player’s dream, consistently in great fantasy game script, running six times per game in his last five appearances, and taking shots downfield. Winston can put up points in a hurry and the only concern is poor interceptions get him benched.
GPP: Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins is averaging 40.64 pass attempts per game this year, a 95th percentile score, while the Patriots are allowing 39.82 pass attempts per game a 19th percentile score. Look for the Vikings to air it out against a Patriots team susceptible to speed and the big play. The yards will be there for Cousins, who is averaging 299 yards per game this season, and if he can match it with touchdowns he has 30 plus point upside in a potential shootout in Foxborough with a 49.5 point total He is projected at sub-five percent ownership and makes for an interesting contrarian game stack.
Value: Jeff Driskel
He is a minimum priced quarterback with rushing upside. Jeff Driskel has the fastest recorded run of any quarterback this season at 21.03 MPH. The Broncos have been good versus running quarterbacks this year, but I expect the Bengals to run to Driskel’s running ability early and often in this one, with a potential for eight-plus carries. Driskel isn’t good, but at the minimum price, you are playing him to stack studs and if he gets a rushing touchdown could help you take down a GPP.
Free Square: Spencer Ware
Now that Kareem Hunt is cut, you have to play Spencer Ware in every single lineup. Hunt was playing 70-80 percent of the snaps every week, and Ware should step right into that role. He takes on a Raiders defense allowing more rushing yards than any other team in the NFL because they are always so far behind, and this week should be no different. As a 14.5-point favorite at 4,000 on DK and 5,200 on FD, he will be in a positive game script on the highest projected scoring team, playing 70 plus percent of the snaps and again, he should be in every lineup you make.
I am going to write the same thing I say about McCaffrey every week. Snaps are the most correlated statistic to fantasy points for running backs and he continues to play the most snaps week in and week out, playing 100 percent of the snaps last week yet again. He leads the team in target share the last four weeks at 25 percent and hasn’t seen less than 13 carries since Week 7. The only question with McCaffrey is his ability to get in the end zone, but he only has one game since week seven without a touchdown and the Bucs are a ninth percentile team in keeping opposing backs out of the end zone. Coming off a career game, McCaffrey’s price has skyrocketed, but he is well worth paying up for and is not a chase play.
The fantasy community continues to be able to yell at Mike McCarthy i told you so as Aaron Jones continues to crush, as he has played 74 percent or more of the snaps for three straight weeks. In that time span, he has put up 18.3, 27.3, and 35.2 DK points and is simply too cheap at 6,700. All of that is before we get to his matchup as a massive home favorite versus the worst rush defense in football. No team has more rush attempts against or rushing touchdowns against than the Arizona Cardinals, while they are second worth in rushing yards allowed per game. Jones is a must for me in all formats this week.
This matchup is frightening, as the Bears are the best team in the league limiting rushing touchdowns, allow the least yards per carry, and have the worst success rate against for opposing running backs. They have a dominant front seven and take on a putrid offensive line. However, with Barkley, it almost doesn’t matter due to the sheer volume he gets. He leads all backs in weighted opportunity, averaging 7.91 targets per game, 127 total yards per game and over a touchdown per game. He has scored under 20 points only once this entire season, and the matchup is baked into his price. He is too cheap for his volume and makes for a solid cash play this week.
GPP: Joe Mixon
The Broncos are giving up 4.7 yards per carry and 110.18 yards per game to running backs this year. The best way to attack them has been on the ground and without Andy Dalton this week, look for them to lean on Joe Mixon. One other reason to like Mixon is Jeff Driskel’s running ability. If the Bengals run more zone read, that could open up backside lanes for Mixon, who is very comfortable running a zone read offense, it’s what Oklahoma ran often in college.
FD Value: Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook is too cheap on Fanduel — 6,200 for a player of Cook’s talent whose workload is trending upwards is a mistake. In the last two weeks, Cook has played 88 percent and 59 percent of the snaps and has seen his workload in the passing game grown, catching all 10 of his targets in the last three games he has been active, fourth on the team in targets in that time span. The Patriots linebackers are slow, and attacking them with pass-catching backs is a winning formula. They allow 8.18 targets per game and they have a 37th percentile weighted opportunity against. If Cooks snaps and touches continue to trend upward, you could be playing an 8k player for just 6,200.
Value: Jalen Richard
When the Raiders are trailing they dump it off to Jalen Richard. The Raiders play the Chiefs and are 14.5-point underdogs, therefore, they should dump it off to Jalen Richard. On the year no team gives up more points to running backs and that is mostly on the back of how the Chiefs get killed in the air to backs, giving up 70.18 yards per game, the most in the NFL. Richard is third on the team in target share the last four weeks, and his workload, game script, and matchup dictate a high volume, high upside day for him.
Without Marvin Jones on the field this year, Kenny Golladay is seeing 31.1 percent of the team’s total targets. The Lions are 11-point home underdogs and will be forced to throw early and often in this one. Golladay is expected to see a third of the offensive production. On the season the Rams give up over 20 DraftKings points per game to opposing No. 1 wide receivers, and Marcus Peters is good in name only right now. The best way to beat Peters is over the top as he has given up four touchdowns on seven targets this season. Look for Golladay to be heavily involved and he has the big play upside to match, he is too cheap and needs to be in your lineups.
With Gilmore expected to shadow a hobbled Diggs look for Thielen to yet again have a big week. In the last four weeks, Thielen has seen 23 percent of the targets and 32 percent of the air yards. He has five receptions or a touchdown in every single game and has the highest weekly floor of any receiver in the NFL. In what I expect to be a sneaky shootout where Cousins throws 40 plus times, I expect Thielen to be heavily involved and go for over 100 yards and a touchdown on double-digit targets.
So far this season the Bengals are giving up 19.09 DK points per game, 83.1 yards, 0.7 touchdowns and allowing 22 percent of the targets per game to go to opposing wide receiver ones. Emmanuel Sanders since the Thomas trade has seen 30 percent of the targets and 47 percent of the air yards. He has a good matchup and has seen insane volume for being just 6,300 on DraftKings. He is an excellent cash option this week and has GPP upside at lower projected ownership.
GPP: Julio Jones
The Ravens are the No. 1 team versus receivers this week, which has led to Julio Jones being just 7,700 and will keep people off of him, currently projected at sub-10 percent ownership. Jones is seeing 26 percent of the teams targets the last four weeks and an insane 48 percent of the air yards. He has had one game this entire year of fewer than nine targets and has gone over 100 yards in every game since week five. I am not going to let his matchup scare me away when it will for 90 percent of people. This is the kind of situation we are looking for with Julio in GPPs.
GPP: Julian Edelman
I like the Patriots vs Vikings game to be a sneaky shootout and think Edelman could be the beneficiary. He has been consistent all season, not scoring less than 12 dk points all year. The last four weeks he has seen 24 percent of the targets, second to only Gordon’s 25 percent. I look for Rhodes to take away Gordon and targets to be funneled to Edelman, who has sneaky 10-catch, 100-plus-yard, and a touchdown upside in this one at projected sub-three percent ownership.
Value: Corey Davis
What does Corey Davis have to do to be priced properly? The man sees 27 percent of the targets and 44 percent of the air yards. Running 27.3 percent of his routes from the slot, he should destroy Skrine on the inside. When he runs his routes on the outside he should have no problem either as the Jets give up over 90 yards per game to opponents No. 1 receiver. The only concern is Mariota’s total volume limiting Davis’ upside, but he is very much in play for cash.
Value: Chris Godwin
With DeSean Jackson off the field, Chris Godwin leads the Bucs in target share seeing 23.7 percent of the targets. In the last four weeks, Jackson has seen 31 percent of the air yards and 17 percent of the targets, I look for most of that work to go to Godwin. He should play around 80 percent of the snaps and his physicality at the catch point should cause problems from Deonte Jackson. He is too cheap with big play upside and his numbers with Jackson off the field are alarming.
Value: Adam Humphries
A DK cash game play, Humphries’ splits without O.J. Howard are impressive, as his target share jumps to 18.2 percent with Howard off the field this year, and every single one of his red zone targets have come with Howard on the sidelines. He has four touchdowns in his last four games and that is likely going to come back down to earth. But you can attack Carolina in the slot, and Humphries is a safe bet for 6-8 targets in this one. I prefer Godwin of the two.
Value: Marcell Ateman
The Raiders are out of players and Ateman has played 96 percent and 81 percent of the snaps in the last two weeks. As 14.5-point underdogs, look for the Raiders to be forced to throw it 40-plus times in this one. He has seen 23 percent of the targets and 26 percent of the air yards the last few weeks and is the lone big play threat on this offense. He is a seventh-round pick out of Oklahoma State with an ability to high point the ball and good body control in 50/50 situations. He is a risky play, and there is better value on the board with Ware opening everything up, but he does have upside if he continues his recent workload.
This one is simple really. The Panthers give up more touchdowns to opponents number one tight end than any other team in the NFL. They funnel 19 percent of the targets against them to tight ends and give up 19.36 DK points per game to opposing tight ends. Brate has seen 12 percent of the team targets with Howard off the field and 20.7 percent of the red zone targets. Brate is a strong play this weekend.
The Texans have one of the best front sevens in football and have only allowed one WR1 game this year to an opponent. That is awesome, but it also translates to funneling targets to opposing tight ends who see 18 percent of the targets and are averaging 20.02 DK points per game against them thus far this year. Njoku, in his last three games, is averaging 13.4 yards per catch and has caught 91 percent of his targets. If he gets the target spike that a tight end is accustomed to versus Houston, he could have a monster day.
Green Bay Packers
Since Week 6, Josh Rosen has yet to go a game without turning it over at least twice or getting sacked at least twice. In that time span (six games), he has 10 interceptions, been sacked 21 times, and has six fumbles. The Packers are home have been a different defense, averaging 12.4 fantasy points per game at home compared to just 2.7 on the road. The big difference is they generate way more pressure at home, averaging 5.4 sacks. A team that generates a ton of pressure, versus a team that allows a ton of it, and a mistake prone QB is a must play. Oh, the Packers are also 14-point home favorites, and the Cardinals have just a 14.5 implied team point total.
Los Angeles Rams
The TQE Betting tool like the Rams and the under in this one, and so far this season it is hitting 60.7 percent of spreads and 60.3 percent of totals. I am going to ride the back of that and take a shot on the Rams defense, who generates pressure in bunches. The Lions have struggled to block people, and Stafford has made poor decision after poor decision in the last four weeks. In addition to no Jones, Tate or Kerryon Johnson, the Lions have only one guy remaining who intimidates defenses in Golladay. Look for the Lions to play from behind in this one with the Rams getting after Stafford and forcing pressure and bad decisions.
Eliot Crist is the Sports Product Manager for The Quant Edge.He is a fantasy analyst with a background in scouting, analytics, and fantasy research. Formerly he has contributed at PFF, 4for4, Bleacher Report, Powerhour, and NDT Scouting. Eliot combines watching tape with analytics to try and take angles that other analysts aren’t to gain an edge for you.